A Colorado man who was imprisoned on rape and assault charges 28 years ago is set to receive a new trial after an appeals court overturned his conviction. Another man has reportedly confessed to the crime which inmate Clarence Moses-El was convicted of in 1988.
Moses-El was convicted of raping and beating his female neighbor on a night in August 1987, 9NEWS reports. The woman gave police two conflicting accounts of what happened at the time. When she was first asked who her attacker was, she gave the police the name of the man who confessed to committing the crime 26 years later.
But while she was in the hospital, the woman said that Moses-El's face came to her in a dream, and she identified him as the assailant. Moses-El received a sentence of 48 years in prison but has long maintained his innocence.
The Denver police destroyed DNA evidence from the crime despite a judge ordering them to preserve it for testing to determine Moses-El's guilt or innocence, according to the Associated Press.
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Moses-El was given a surprise in December 2013 when he received a letter from a man named L.C. Jackson, in which Jackson admitted that he was the one who was with the woman that night.
"I really don't know what to say to you, but let's start by bringing what was done in the dark into the light," part of Jackson's letter reads, according to court documents obtained by the AP. "I have a lot on my heart."
The letter led to a hearing in July 2015 for Jackson, who said that he had been having sex with the woman and hit her in the face after he became angry. He has not been charged for the 1987 incident, but his DNA was linked to a 1992 rape case involving a mother and daughter. Jackson was convicted of those rapes.
9NEWS reports, however, that Jackson's blood was tested in 2014, and his blood type was consistent with what was discovered in Moses-El's case.
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Denver District Court Judge Kandace Gerdes has ordered a new trial to take place for Moses-El and for attorneys to contact the court within 30 days. He is expected to be acquitted on all counts in the retrial.
"He's elated," attorney Gail Johnson said of Moses-El, in response to the news, according to the AP.
"He's very happy and feels like he's finally getting justice in this case," Johnson added.